Wednesday, April 22, 2015

CIO as Agility Leader: What does DevOps mean for you?

DevOps at scale builds bridges where you might have found walls before.

DevOps exists in place of a wall of confusion between what is and what could be. DevOps was at one time a “grassroots” movement, but now most leading IT companies consider it a best practice for achieving synergy where there used to be friction between what-is in stable production and what-could-be in innovative development. DevOps is the strategic, cultural convergence of developmental, operational, testing, and quality interests, empowered by collaboration, shared responsibilities, shared tools, and other shared resources.

DevOps is "just" a new way of thinking or working between dev and ops. It's a wonderful opportunity to break the wall in IT functionalities. DevOps at scale builds bridges where you might have found walls before. Sometimes those walls are departmental and sometimes they are dividing domains and organizational units. DevOps professionalized something that would ordinarily be only grass-roots, so DevOps culture speaks from authority and relies on executive sponsorship in cases where the company is not founded on DevOps entirely. Executive sponsorship should be complemented with staff compliance to the cultural process of sharing concerns as well as democratizing the process of separating concerns to create service abstractions where it makes sense to the organization as a whole.

DevOps at its core is all about culture and about breaking down barriers between Dev and Ops teams. It's about helping the business be more efficient and productive in these areas. Most of its practices at the end of the day are common sense approaches. DevOps cannot exist in an environment without company buy in - much like Agile and they are processes. It maybe not as important to define it as it is to embrace the main result of it, which is better inter-organizational cooperation. Before DevOps, there was the talk of Business-IT alignment, and people got quite confused about what that meant. DevOps at SCALE implies interconnected DevOps tribes or cultures, so inter-organizational cooperation is essential to scaling DevOps beyond one single shop or domain. Collaboration is like competition on steroids if you're working along a path of DevOps initiatives which aim to build bridges where you may have previously found silos, walls, and deliverables being tossed over these walls.

DevOps is about empathy. There are situations, experiences, challenges, etc. the operations face that development doesn't and vice verse. Having an understanding of both and open communication between the two, helps to foster new ideas that ultimately develop better solutions. Devops is understanding that EVERYONE works in customer service now. Devops is communication and figuring out how to make the answer to the customers' questions default to yes by tailoring their needs.

DevOps" means more about attitude. Devops is about unifying the company. Devops is about making sure that everyone understands the business goals and how their work and the work of others are interwoven into the fabric of the company's success. Devops is empowering people to point out inefficiencies and opportunities and actually be able to do something about them. Devops facilitates moving quickly, agile development, disruption, and continuous integration. DevOps means bringing in the development and the operations in the same box; Minimize the handoff, increase communication, remove the barrier between the Dev and Ops Groups. Movement in the Journey from - "You Develop, He Builds, She Deploys, He Supports" to "We Develop-We Build-We Deploy and We Support". Focus on cross skilled individuals, automation, communication and reduce development to deployment time.

DevOps is a business problem solution. It means to solve quality and velocity problems faced by the business stakeholders because it starts a discussion about "how stuff works" in production. This saves time, money and headaches compared to the overhead of tossing deliverable over the "wall of confusion" between what is in stable, scalable, highly available production, and what's in innovative ongoing changing creative development. Products that open up the discussion between Dev and Ops may function as catalysts to change in organizations which suffer from systemic monolithic or siloed development approaches.

"DevOps Master" is the dude (or dudette) who is completely comfortable working in the dynamic IT: such hybrid IT well blends with the development environment, the sysadmin environment, the operations environment, and with a variety of levels of management. This is the person who can bring the best practices of all of these groups together into one whole, and help all of them communicate and work together. This is the person who can automate tasks across discipline areas so everyone's life and jobs are a little easier. This is the person who, if someone in any of the various organizations has a problem, has a large enough vision of how everything fits together that he/she can help solve the problem. This is the person who sees everyone as his/her "customer," and can provide solutions to help make their life better.

Devops dashboards provide summarized insight: The value of dashboard is provided via summarized (but not summarized) consolidation of actionable insights polled from service ecosystem datasets. It's part of scaling the management layer. The potential is there for those with the time, energy, applicable resources and minds to focus on possible endgame scenarios as solutions, building DevOpsnavigation dashboards if they don't exist yet, can give verifiable data to team members according to technical organizational or legal standards - hand holding shouldn't matter neither should competition.

DevOps can mean many things to different groups depending on how they adopt the changes. In the end, you need to be able to answer these two questions. Are you able to deliver the product at the desired quality that meets the purpose and desired use of the product? Are you able to deliver at the pace the business demands to meet the market opportunity? And how you individually implement the solution is another conversation because each organization/team will have their own DevOps working model. DevOps is really about using your best tools, strong collaboration, and fast and efficient software development lifecycle practices to serve the focused needs of the customer each and every day.


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